When my birthday comes around each year, my friends and family always ask what I might want. And the answer is an adventure. Always. This year my partner was very sneaky and planned a trip to the South of France for 3 beautiful days of spring sunshine. All I was told was to bring nice clothes and that the weather was going to be warmer than London. Not great clues I might add, but I was very very happy when I saw “Nice” on the departure gate. I can say he did a GREAT job at picking out the hotel, and the restaurants we wined and dined in were gorgeously delicious. He kept on saying, you don’t need to blog about this, it’s a birthday trip! Nevertheless, I wanted to share with you where we stayed, ate and what we got up to – as it was the perfect romantic getaway.
Nestled in the Mouglins countryside, just 20 minutes from Cannes and Nice, lies a french Relais & Châteaux 5 Star hotel. Les Mas Candille is a exclusive hotel set on nine acres of lush rolling green hills and manicured lawns. Along with 46 individually styled rooms and suites, there is the Michelin starred restaurant Le Candille, 3 swimming pools, a sauna, an alfresco gym and a luxurious Shiseido Spa. The service was impeccable, and nothing was a hassle for the staff. From arranging an embarrassingly large vase of red roses in the room, to designing my own bespoke vegetarian menu at the restaurant; the hotel staff were more than accomodating. The hotel is super close for day trips to Cannes and Nice but coming home each evening to Les Mas Candille was delightfully secluded and quiet.
As it was my first time to the South of France, my partner was careful not to take me anywhere too flashy or cheesy. The places we dined were private, intimate and hidden from the tourist trail. Here are a few to put on your list:
La Mas Candille
Even if you don’t stay at La Mas Candille, you must make the visit to dine at their Michelin star restaurant, Le Candille. The restaurant is candle lit, intimate and seats only 20 guests. Being a vegetarian I was worried I would be limited with what I was could order. But I needn’t worry at all. The chefs had specially prepared a bespoke vegetarian menu just for me. Think chickpea curry, salads and a dessert tasting plate was to die for. Our sommelier also paired our dishes with some beautifully matching wines and pink champagnes so make sure you take advantage of their knowledge. You are in France after all, it would be a sin not to drink champagne.
La Bastide Saint-Antoine Jacques
La Bastide Saint-Antonie was our dinner destination for my birthday evening. Again the setting was intimate, romantic and very french. We were the youngest couple by about 20 years but the ambience was just perfect and super romantic. The vegetarian options were a little limited but I had a lovey soup and risotto and again a ridiculous desert tasting plate. The food was delicious and the service infallible.
When I think of Cannes, I immediately think of super yachts, stunning beaches and champagne. And this beach side establishment is everything you expect. Neatly tucked into the port of Canto, L’ Ecrin is a waterfront restaurant designed by the famous interior designer of Buddha Bar and Man Rays in Paris. Come for a Japanese inspired sushi lunch or a bottle of Moet or both. Arrive by foot or boat and spend the afternoon soaking up the sunshine.
When you stay at Le Mas Candille, there is no need to leave for your luxury spa experience. The hotel offers a relaxation room, a Jacuzzi, a sauna, a fitness area and a hydrotherapy pool alongside the Japanese styled Shiseido Spa. They use a combination of eastern traditions and western techniques so it is the place to unwind, indulge and leave feeling very zen. You can’t go past the Japanese scalp massage and the ultimate radiance facial to leave you feeling on top of the world.
Other than eat, drink and enjoy your romantic weekend, you can rent a car, go for a beach walk, work on your tan or drink champagne to your heart’s content.
One of the days we rented a car and drove into Nice for a day of exploring. We hiked up the stairs to a waterfall and for the most magnificent viewpoint over the beach. We also had a ride on the ferris wheel for another bird’s eye view of the town and soaked up some sunshine along the beachfront. There’s plenty to do if you feel like keeping busy.
The fact that it was only a 45 minute flight to Nice from London and that Mougins is only 30 mins away by car, made this weekend in the South of France super easy. There were mountains, countryside and beach – all of my favourite things. After this short but sweet weekend, I fell in love with this area and can’t wait to go back for more exploring. Next time beach and skiing in one weekend!